Since when is telework regulated by law?

Telework has been subject to a legal framework for more than 10 years.

Indeed, the social partners signed a framework agreement on the European level regarding telework on 11 July 2002.

Following this agreement, in February 2006, an agreement on the legal scheme for telework was signed at national level between the social partners, namely the OGBL and the LCGB, with the UEL. This agreement has been renewed several times, most recently on 15 December 2015.

This agreement and its renewals have been declared to be of general obligation by Grand Ducal regulation.

The social partners at national level considered it appropriate to modernise this agreement to adapt it to the challenges of digitalisation and to regulate both regular and occasional telework.

The new agreement signed on 20 October 2020 was declared to be of general obligation by Grand-Ducal regulation of 22 January 2021. It came into force on 2 February 2021.

It was concluded for a limited period of three years from its entry into force. It may be terminated, in whole or in part, by giving three months’ notice.

Otherwise, it will be renewed automatically as an indefinite period agreement. Thereafter, it may only be terminated, in whole or in part, with three months’ notice.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

Who does entities are within the scope of this telework agreement apply to?

The agreement applies to employees covered by the Labour Code, excluding those having public law or similar status.

In particular, the following shall be excluded from the scope of this agreement:

  • secondment abroad
  • the transport sector in the broad sense (excluding administration)
  • sales representatives
  • co-working spaces, in the sense that the work is carried out in a branch office of the company
  • smart-working, in the sense of occasional work by smart phone or laptop outside the usual workplace or teleworking location
  • all services provided outside the company to customers

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

What is the definition of telework?

Telework is a form of organising or carrying out work, generally using information and communication technologies, so that work, which would normally be carried out on an employer’s premises, is carried out remotely from these premises. A teleworker within the meaning of this agreement is a person who teleworks in accordance with the above definition.

Telework is considered occasional when it is carried out to deal with unforeseen events or when telework represents less than 10% on average of the teleworker’s normal annual working time.

Telework is considered regular in other cases.

The reference period is the calendar year.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

How is telework set up?

The employee and the employer are free to choose their telework scheme, taking into account any applicable provisions at the level of the sector or company concerned, as soon as the employee starts work or later.

An employee’s refusal of a telework proposal made by his employer does not in itself constitute grounds for termination of his employment contract. Nor can the refusal justify the use of the procedure for amending the employment contract to impose this form of work.

In compliance with the agreement, a specific telework regime can be set out for company or sector that is tailored to the particular situation of that company or sector, which may stipulate the categories of employees excluded from telework, the places or types of places authorised, the rules on health and safety at work, the rules on the protection of personal data and the contact persons for telework.

The specific arrangement may be implemented by means of a collective labour agreement or a subordinate agreement. In compliance with the provisions of the collective agreement or the subordinate agreement, if any, or in the absence of such provisions, a specific telework scheme may also be set out at company level, in compliance with the competences of any existing staff delegation.

Where there is a staff delegation, specific telework schemes are introduced and modified after notification and consultations with the staff delegation or by mutual agreement between the employer and the staff delegation in companies with at least 150 employees.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

How is the agreement between the employee and the employer formalised?

When telework is occasional, the employer provides the employee authorised to telework with a written confirmation.

When telework is regular, the following elements are set out by mutual agreement in writing between the employer and the employee:

  • the place of telework and how determining this place is done
  • the hours and days of the week during which the teleworker teleworks and must be available to the employer or the methods for determining these periods
  • the methods of possible compensation for benefits in kind lost due to telework
  • the monthly lump sum for connection and communication costs related to telework
  • how to transition or return to the traditional work arrangement

These elements can also be set out within the framework of the specific telework scheme of the company or sector, if applicable.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

What is the role of a staff delegation?

The introduction or modification of telework in the company is subject to consultation of the staff delegation, or even to the agreement of the staff delegation in companies with 150 or more employees.

The staff delegation keeps regularly informed about the number of teleworkers and changes to it within the company.

The way information to be transmitted is decided on within the company.

(Last updated on 14 February 2021)

Is an employee's refusal of a proposal to telework a valid reason for terminating an employment contract?

The employee and the employer are free to choose the telework arrangement.

An employee’s refusal of a telework proposal made by the employer is not in itself a reason for dismissal, nor is it a reason for unilateral modification of the employment contract.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

Is a return to a standard working arrangement possible?

Either the teleworker or the employer can request a change or a return to standard work at any time.

When teleworking is regular, the modalities of the switch or return to the regular working arrangement are to be agreed upon in writing between the employer and the employee at the time the employee starts teleworking.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

What about work equipment in case of telework?

Where telework is regular, the employer provides the work equipment necessary for telework and covers the costs directly related to telework, in particular those related to communications. This may take the form of a monthly lump sum, to be agreed in writing between the employer and the employee.

If necessary, teleworkers may request appropriate technical support services.

The employer is responsible for the costs of loss or damage to equipment and data used by the teleworker, except for damage caused by the teleworker’s own wilful acts or gross negligence.

In case of breakdown or malfunction of a teleworker’s equipment, the person must immediately notify the company in the manner determined by the company.

Teleworkers are responsible for caring of the equipment assigned to them.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

How is equal treatment of the teleworker ensured?

Teleworkers have the same rights and are subject to the same obligations under applicable legislation and collective agreements as comparable workers on company premises.

The principle of equal treatment between teleworkers and regular workers must be complied with, particularly as regards employment conditions, working time, remuneration conditions, conditions of and access to promotion, collective and individual access to continuing vocational training, respect for privacy and processing of personal data for monitoring purposes in the context of the employment relationship. Teleworkers also receive all current information that the employer, or even the staff delegation, circulates within the company in the same way and at the same volume as the other employees of the company.

However, different treatment of teleworkers can be justified on objective grounds, without prejudice to the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment.

When regular telework implies a loss for teleworkers of a benefit in kind to which they would normally be entitled, it is up to the parties concerned to devise a compensation which can be specific but which must be based on the principle of non-discrimination.

Teleworkers are not entitled to compensation for the time spent in telework when a benefit in kind is closely linked to their presence in a company, such as access to a parking space, a canteen or a sports hall which is on company premises.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

How is the working time of teleworking employees organised?

The organisation of working time follows the rules applicable within the company. Teleworkers’ workload and performance criteria are equivalent to those of comparable workers on the employer’s premises.

The parties should agree on arrangements for overtime that are in line with the company’s internal procedures to the extent possible.

The employer shall ensure that the exceptional nature of overtime is also strictly complied with for teleworkers. Any provisions relating to the “right to disconnect” applicable to a regular worker also apply to the teleworker.

The employer shall ensure that measures are taken to prevent teleworkers’ isolation from other workers in the company, by promoting regular meetings between and colleagues and providing access to company information.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

How is the employee's health and safety protected?

The employer must inform teleworkers of the company’s occupational health and safety policy.

Teleworkers apply these occupational health and safety policies properly.

Teleworkers are entitled to request an inspection visit from the company’s occupational health service, the company’s safety and health representative or the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

How is data protection ensured?

It is the responsibility of the employer to implement the measures required by law and by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation to ensure the protection of data used and processed by the teleworker for business purposes, including personal data.

The employer shall inform teleworkers about data protection and to train them to the extent necessary

The information and training provided includes all relevant company legislation and rules on data protection.

The employer shall inform teleworkers in particular of the following:

  • any restrictions on the use of IT equipment or tools such as the Internet, e-mail or mobile phones;
  • the sanctions in case of non-compliance

It is the responsibility of teleworkers to comply with these rules.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

What are teleworkers’ training rights?

Teleworkers have the same access to training and career development opportunities as comparable workers working on the employer’s premises and are subject to the same evaluation policies as these other workers.

Teleworkers may receive appropriate training upon request that is targeted at the technical equipment available to them and the characteristics of this form of work organisation.

Teleworkers’ line managers and direct colleagues may also need training in this form of work and its management.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

What are the collective rights of teleworkers?

Teleworkers have the same collective rights as workers on the company premises. As such, they:

  • have the right to communicate by any appropriate means of communication with the company’s staff representatives;
  • are subject to the same conditions of participation and eligibility in elections for staff delegations
  • are included in the calculations determining the necessary thresholds for employee representation bodies.

(Last updated on 8 February 2021)

What is the impact of teleworking on the tax regime of a cross-border worker?

Bilateral tax treaties between Luxembourg and various third countries aim to eliminate double taxation. According to these international conventions against double taxation, employees are in principle taxed in the country where the profession is carried out.

By means of an agreement between the states, taxation is maintained at 100% in Luxembourg if the following thresholds are not exceeded:

  • Belgium: maximum 34 working days per year outside Luxembourg, since tax year 2023.
  • Germany: maximum 34 working days per year outside Luxembourg, since tax year 2024.
  • France: maximum 34 working days per year outside Luxembourg, as of tax year 2023.

ATTENTION: if these thresholds are exceeded (adding the days of teleworking and activity in any other country than Luxembourg), the salary in relation to all the days worked outside Luxembourg is taxable in the employee’s country of residence).

(Last updated on 24 January 2024)

What is the impact of teleworking on the social security system of a cross-border worker?

Teleworking employees are entitled to the same social security protection as the company’s employees with a standard employment contract, especially as regards accident insurance.

Persons residing outside the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg remain affiliated to the Luxembourg social security system provided that they do not work more than 25% in their country of residence.

COVID-19: Luxembourg and its three neighbouring countries, Germany, France and Belgium, have agreed not to take into account teleworking days related to the COVID-19 crisis for determining social security legislation applicable to cross-border workers until 30 June 2022.

The members of the administrative commission for the Coordination of Social Security Systems in the European Union have decided on a transitional period ending on 30 June 2023. During this transitional period, an administrative tolerance will be applied, allowing frontier workers to continue to carry out work in the form of telework from their home, without fear of changing their social security affiliation if the 25% threshold provided for in the European legislation is exceeded.

Please note: This provision only applies to the area of social security. Agreements in the field of taxation fall under the competence of the Ministry of Finance.

(Last update 12 December 2022)